Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oversensitive

I’m wondering what can be done to make the world a gentler place. We’re so overstimulated. We need so much noise and light and action all the time. Our children need it at such a young age, too. Nobody is comfortable in their own skin just being and not doing.

I’m just pondering shit.

I am still numb from the week I had. A horrific crime took place in my college town. It’s in the paper, it’s not a secret. A single mother met a sociopath online and when she began to want to get away from him, he stalked her and brutally murdered her and then killed himself. Leaving behind a boy with no other family.

I read one of the early police reports and it reads like a horror novel. I read in the newspaper that this man purposefully targeted women in the caring professions and he was a ticking time bomb. He mirror them and then turned on them. I don’t need to read any more.

The day before the murder I was laughing at an Ellen DeGeneres Halloween haunted house video. The day after the murder I didn’t see the humor in it and had to turn it off. I’ll never look at Halloween the same again. Why do we want to frighten ourselves?

I’m tired of zombies and find them as a Halloween idea unimaginative. I see huge groups doing the Thriller dance and nobody even recalls that Michael Jackson was a child sexual abuser, pure and simple. Isn’t there someone or something else we can emulate? Someone else we can dance to?

I would not want to have young children these days. I don’t know how a family can even eat dinner with every member on their phones, texting and Facebooking, and being afraid of missing something.

I do wish Fred Rogers were alive because I need more of his wisdom and sweetness. I watched a documentary about him and absolutely no one had anything negative to say about him. He was himself and he really, honestly cared about children. And he was a man of God, a Presbyterian minister but he never pushed his faith on anyone. He pushed goodness and kindness on everyone.

I’ve know since I was very young that I was “over sensitive” and just considered it a negative trait that embarrassed me. As an adult, while I find it trying, I feel I’m embarking on a journey to discover how to live life this way. Late, I know, but better late than never. I want to accept it, embrace it, and learn to thrive with it.

A few months before his death in 2003, Fred Rogers recorded this video message for those who grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” This message was one of the last things he recorded in the WQED studio, according to the Fred Rogers Company.

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Dealing with Some Work Trauma

It’s 6:20 a.m. and I only have ten minutes before I need to get into the shower and get ready for work.

On Wednesday at this time I was at my place of employment acting as advocate for a young boy whose mother was killed in a murder suicide.

I can’t say any more than that due to the restrictions of my job. All I can say is I keep reliving that morning and thinking about what I heard and what I read about the tragedy.

Now I can barely concentrate at work and I can barely sleep. I’m exhausted.

I don’t want them to know how badly this has affected me because I don’t want them to be afraid to give me these types of important cases.

I know time will ease the memories and the hauntings, but I wish I knew what to do to move it along. It really leaves one in a state of shock. And I’m worried about all the people I love and want to protect them. I’m worried about myself.

I would not want to die that way.

Not sure what to do but I think I’ll call my therapist whom I rarely see these days and try to get in to see her next week, at the end of the day, so that I can tell her all about it and sob my heart out. I can’t think of a better way.

I awoke very, very early today with bad dreams and tried to recite the Lord’s Prayer but kept forgetting it and starting over. I’m thinking of taking a day off, but I want it to be a day of healing, not just a day of wandering.

I’d appreciate any suggestions you have on dealing with trauma of this sort.

xox

Please, God. Give me a Chance.

I doubt I will ever post this, but I have to write it. I doubt it will be as truthful as it needs to be, but I will write it anyway.

My husband before the cheater was a very good man. He was the best thing to ever happen to me, and will ever happen to me. But he’s gone now and happy with his new partner. He deserves happiness. His eighteen years with me were probably a nightmare.

Within a year of our marriage we moved to the Pacific Northwest. It was just he, myself and my then 14 year old daughter. He was the best stepfather you could ever want. He taught her to drive. She went to him when she was afraid to tell me bad news. They are still close even now and she is 39.

We bought a small house and began working and making our way in our new city. I’m socially awkward so we never had a social circle. He loved to go to the library each week and come home with three or four old science fiction books. We’d watch Star Trek: The Next Generation together.

We lived within our means. We had one car for all three of us. He rode his bike to work. I often took the bus. We had a big garden in the backyard. I was learning all about gardening, owning a home, being a grownup.

I don’t know what happened first, the computer or the prescription drugs. I feel it must have been the computer. I didn’t want a home computer. I somehow thought that only perverts got home computers and I thought it was sickening what they did on line. But he bought one and set it up and I was never the same.

I very quickly was fodder for the people who prey on others on line. I was terribly naive about it all. This was before anyone sent photos, or spoke on the phone. It was all just text. But the technology moved quickly and I soon found myself in chatrooms which were innocent in name, but not behind the scenes.

I realized that I could pretend to be someone different. In particular, I could be younger. It thrilled me to pretend to be in my twenties instead of in my forties. I was gaining weight and I was extremely nervous about a job I had gotten which I felt unqualified for.

Depression set in. I knew I was spending far too much time online. I was leading a double life. I would leave work early just to go home to go on the computer and pretend. I got really good at everything you can imagine the depraved do online. And I let strangers call me for phone sex. This is especially insane given that this was all before cell phones.

Everything just kept escalating. But I never met anyone or spoke to anyone who lived in my state. It was a fantasy world.

The suicide attempts began. I remember my husband saying to me once that he feared that we would find that we weren’t compatible. I told him no, it’s not you. It’s all me. But I began to be drugged and hospitalized with regularity. Ironically I could  not achieve orgasm with the drugs and I gained even more weight. I began to go to individual counseling but I don’t think I ever really examined myself or what I was doing.

This went on for many years. The suicide attempts and hospital stays were wearing him out. I could not break away from my fantasy life online no matter how I tried. We even put a tracker on the computer so that he could read my messages to know I was behaving, but I figured he’d never read them so I kept up my bad behavior.

We really drifted apart and he had a job that had him work twelve hour days, four days a week. I then worked 3/4 time. I asked for vacations or special nights out, but for some reason we never did anything. I wonder how crazy I was. Perhaps he was afraid to take me anywhere.

I also asked him to find a hobby. He seemed to need something. To my shock in the last years of our marriage he joined a gun club and began buying guns. He’s not a hunter, he just target shoots. We always had a deal where we’d talk to each other before big purchases, but he began to lie and hide gun purchases. Naturally they were all locked up, due to my suicidal nature. But he got a lot out of it and went once a week or so to the indoor range and met people that way. There were occasional nights where spouses were invited, but he took me once and never again, even though I asked. I am pretty sure he was ashamed of me. Not sure if it was my weight or insanity or perhaps both.

I can’t talk about this in the detail it deserves because it’s incredibly painful and I can hardly type it.

In desperation I tried electro shock therapy. I can’t believe I put myself through that. I had two sessions and then on the third session he could not get me “under” enough so I stopped that form of treatment. Sometime later I was back in the psych ward and my husband came to visit me. He said, “I cannot take another twenty years of this.” And in that moment I knew I lost him. I must have lost him years before, but was oblivious.

We went to couples counseling and for once I was motivated and stopped all my bad behavior. I was trying to communicate with him there, but he was closed. He was done with me. I thought, well, I can’t be with someone who doesn’t want me, and we started the divorce. I was delusional.

He was a gentleman and we cut everything down the middle. I had earned as much as he had and what we had we built together. He even committed to spousal support since I had now been on disability for several years due to my psychiatric problems. I took my half of the money and bought a condo in what I thought was Portland, but turned out to be Gresham. A horrible, gang filled place.

I immediately met the current ex in a chat room. And within three or four months he came to Portland and we were on again and off again for eight horrible years.

But I think back on my marriage, the good one, in horror now. Because he was truly my best friend. He had an unbelievable sense of humor and I loved him from head to toe. He didn’t do ANYTHING to make me stray. It was all me, trying to pretend I hadn’t lost my looks and that I was still desirable.

My only wish is that he would have told me earlier that he was miserable. Because now that I know that it is possible to pull oneself up and change, I wold have made a great effort for him. But I’ll never have that chance.

He lives in town with his partner of several years. I’m not sure how I’ll behave if I ever run into them. But I’ll always love him for treating me with respect and dignity. He never called me a bad name. He never struck me. To think I went from him, a man of honor and integrity, to a slimy con man just appalls me.

And I know I am being punished. And I fear how long the punishment will last.

I see men who remind me of him and I feel like falling to the ground and sobbing. I remember every detail of him from his head to his toes. I cannot believe I had the man of my dreams and I let him go. I’m sure I never thought I deserved him.

And now, at my age, 58, there will be no more men. The good men are partnered up and they realize that leaving a partner at that age isn’t a good idea. I’d give anything to turn back time and be back with my good husband. I’d give anything to wake from this nightmare. I still have so much love to give. I have learned so much.

But there will be no waking. And I feel as though I should whip myself across the back until I bleed to pay for what I’ve done. I don’t deserve love. I don’t deserve respect. I will never find it now.

And now I am sobbing. It’s far more painful now to think of him than to ruminate about the ex who conned me and took me for every penny I accumulated in my 18 year marriage.

I feel like such a loser. I feel I can’t make eye contact with anyone. I feel there’s no point of trying to go on.

I’ve lived with my parents for two years now, since discovering the recent ex was cheating on me. I’ve been working full time since April of this year and I could move out, but haven’t because I’m saving for a deposit on a home.

I couldn’t buy this year because I had to declare bankruptcy thanks to my ex and have to wait until it’s two years old to buy again. That’ll be mid June, 2016. But now my fear is that I’ll find out in June that I simply don’t make enough money to buy a home. I’ve only re-entered the job market in April of this year. I earn more than I thought I would, but not enough to really live on. What if I find out that there is no home cheap enough for me?

The low income programs say I make too much money, which is just so absurd. They don’t even take into account my age, or how I’ve struggled to pull myself together emotionally, or to re-enter the job market. I’d take a second job if I could figure out one I could handle. I’m pretty exhausted from my work day as it is.

I’m resigned to being alone now, but part of me still hopes someone special will come along. I won’t sign up for dating sites. I don’t go to bars. Everyone at church is matched up. Everyone at work is much younger. That’s why I’ll be so disappointed if I can’t get a home loan — it’ll mean that every one of my dreams is squashed and unavailable.

If that happens I’ll still do my best to move out and keep getting up each day and working. But I know I’ll be depressed. I will not thrive. I will not move on with a fresh new beginning.

I haven’t been this truly sorrowful in many months. I am so ashamed and regretful that it is my own actions that ended me up where I am. Oh, and there’s more. Stuff so shameful I can’t tell you or my priest. Things only God and I know and I have to live with.

Please, God, give me a chance to show I can do better.

I Am Such A Whiner and I’m Sorry

I don’t really feel I “deserve” to write about how things are going because I’m looking at myself as a failure.

It was about 10 days of eating healthy and using my FitBit and then nothing. Nada. Zip. Back to the sugar. I enjoyed the deep water aerobics and found it challenging, so why did I not go this week? I used being exhausted and stressed from work as an excuse. Not a good excuse.

At the same time, the only thing that seems to be going well for me in my life right now is work. I feel I have found my place there and that I am enjoyed and appreciated. They may feel I’m a bit high strung, but I do come through. I have a good sense of humor. I am a team player.

Yesterday I did a couple of errands and then went to a few charity shops. I do not need anymore things from charity shops! But I have no other hobby or interest. I found myself cursing at drivers and being really wound up and I do not want to be that way!

I think it comes down to being out of control of my eating, weight, exercise — the more out of control it gets, the more I dislike myself and figure everyone else dislikes me too.

I also realized that I passed the two year mark since my ex husband used up my money, cheated on me, and kicked me out of our home. When I think back on that dark time I don’t know how I survived. Two very serious suicide attempts and just that searing pain for so many months. At this point, however, all I want is for him to leave my town.

Last Sunday I stupidly broke no contact and texted him and asked if he was still planning to leave town after he received his settlement money. He said something vague like he had already discussed this with me. Then he added something about when he tells me his plans. I wrote back and said, “Why would I be interested in your plans? I just want you to leave town.”

So now I fear that he is making plans to stay here. After all, his young girlfriend is from here. For all I know she’s pregnant or they’re already married. I don’t understand why I have to live with them under my nose. This is infuriating.

I do not think it’s healthy for me to be so obsessed with him and his happiness. It’s also ludicrous that I might imagine he is finding success when I know damn well he just can’t succeed. A few months back, after some online snooping, I saw that he is trying to import bikes from China. The idea of that is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start. And he called the business a name that is also the name of a popular band — making it even more confusing.

I looked at the only webpage about the business so far and it is written in his usual formal and awkward English. He is so pretentious. I used to try to tell him why a sentence didn’t make sense, but being a narc he would not trust me. I do not have an English degree, but I can generally tell when something’s wrong with a sentence.

Imported bikes from China will not work in this town which is a serious biking town and already has many quality bike shops. He’d be better off to take it to Portland where he can find his own hipster crowd to sell to. My 50 year old Iranian hipster ex-husband. Yeah.

Meeting him and bringing him to MY town was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. He claims to hate it here, but when you rely on women to feed you, clothe you, and house you, you end up staying where they are. FUCK I regret ever meeting him!!!

I’m really disappointed in myself that I still have no friends or no social life. I have been wanting to go to a contra dance because I love Irish music and yet fear being the only single woman there. Or having to dance the night away only with women. I must be very self absorbed (duh) if that bothers me so much. But it’s like the hiking MeetUps that I will never go to. I’m frozen with fear. Ashamed of being alone.

Today is church and I always look for a reset and today is no exception. I’m wound up so tight and it’s not really because of my ex or work, it’s because I do not like myself.

I heard about a form of therapy (the Spartan Life Coach, maybe?) who said if you write down your story, your abuse story, and have someone read it back to you, you can find yourself feeling empathy for the person reading the story and then realize that you deserve that same empathy for yourself. I need empathy for myself. I’ve been so hard on myself for so long now that I’m exhausted.

I need to stop hating myself. I need to forgive myself. I need to stop thinking I’m the center of the universe and put myself out there. It’s one thing not to have a life partner, but not to have a single person to do ANYTHING with is, frankly, pathetic.

Meanwhile, I am worried about you, Alex, and how you’re coping. And I want to reach out to you, ENM, because you’re so very kind to send me postcards and ask after me. I care about you both and yet when I am in my stressed out zone I don’t take the time to reach out. Perhaps I have no friends because I am a bad friend.

All my life I’ve been partnered up with a man and didn’t need anything more. Now that has come to kick me in the ass, so to speak. Lately I’ve been seeing some of my mother’s qualities in me and that sends me into a depression spiral.

I’m truly sorry to complain so much. Truly.

I read that there’s some Irish music being played in town tonight and I’m going to consider going. I don’t know though, it’s in a bar setting and God knows what to do in a setting like that.

Shit.

I love you.

Oh My God I’m Soooo Wound Up

Week whatever, I’m exhausted and not the least motivated.

I have a lot on my mind and heart.

One, I’m quite stressed with new work responsibilities. I’m always that way when given something new. I get so paranoid about not understanding it all at once. I panic that I’ll let something slip through the cracks. I’m terrified of making a mistake.

Yet I know that once I know it, in a relatively short period of time, all will be well. So, please, stop panicking. Knowing it will all be well is only so comforting. These are just old tapes that I’m stupid or can’t learn things. I have to overcome these old tapes every day.

And I am glad for the extra responsibility even though I actually feel I’m the busiest person in the whole office, but there are only seven of us and we all wear lots of hats. It just so happens that I am interrupted every two minutes by a phone call, and when I’m in this learning/panicking phase, I fucking hate being interrupted. It would not be so bad, but our new phone system puts every call through me. In the past they could get calls directly to their desk. Who’s idea was this!?

But I need to hold on, because eventually they will get more funding and they will move me from the front desk, I just know it. I have to get through the next two to three weeks looking as competent as I possibly can. The opportunity to advance will be there for me, probably in the next year.

So the added stress made me throw my fitness and eating plan right out the window. I simply can’t handle more than one thing at a time!

And I over committed myself to a bunch of church activities and am facing burnout there, working hard in the kitchen after work. And I’m realizing I need to scale it back and give myself some real downtime on the weekends. They fly by so, so quickly.

And, I’m struggling with my conscience as well. Twice a month I work hard, getting to the church by 8 a.m. on Saturdays to prepare and serve breakfast to upwards of 300 homeless / hungry people. But I’m losing my empathy because they are all drug users! They wake up every day and decide life on the streets being dirty, with sores all over their faces, filthy, smelly, is better than giving up meth or heroine or whatever their poison is.

They twitch, they can’t make eye contact — to be honest I feel like I might was well be asking a zombie, “Good morning! Would you like some grits?” Because they are like zombies. These are not people who are simply hard on their luck, looking for a hand. These are addicts and I am having a terrible time feeling compassion for them!

The breakfast twice a month has been my ministry at my church for about nine months, but perhaps I need to take a break from it. Because I don’t see how we’re helping them. Yes, we’re feeding them, but few of them are skinny or hungry looking. WE ARE NOT ADDRESSING THEIR DRUG PROBLEM. And every city across America is filled with people of all ages who are helpless over these highly addictive drugs! This is not like the old days with a few local drunks. This feels epidemic!

They have taken over parts of our downtown. They are intimidating and not friendly. They sit on the sidewalk right outside nice restaurants with their signs, dogs, and bowls. This is their life choice and they seem defiant about it! I’ve heard in Portland it got so bad that they took over a downtown park, were shooting up and even having sex in public. They don’t care.

“What Would Jesus Do?” I think he’d get fucking angry at them! People like my nephew who just came into town and is able bodied, but would rather smoke weed all day long and just get by on the minimum. I fucking hate all drugs, even weed, which I feel makes people boring, unmotivated, and stupid.

I am wound up.

Tomorrow after church services there will be information tables explaining other opportunities for ministry — I need to take a look at them and take a break from the zombie drug addicts. I need to work on my compassion, too, and why this bothers me so much. I need to ask God to help me.

I’m going to try to have a word with the priest or assistant priest about this lack of caring I’m feeling towards them — certainly it is unChristianlike.

My addicted nephew who made his mom’s life a living hell came to Portland because his older brother thought he could turn him around. He got a job quickly but only three days a week. He acted as though that was just fine. And ultimately, of course, he got fired and he was soon on the streets of PDX. He posts pictures of him and his gummy mouthed girlfriend cooking on the curb in Portland as though “this is the life.” I wrote to him privately on FB and said, “You won’t like it when it’s freezing and wet and dark. Please focus on your sobriety.” He never responded.

And now, he’s in our town. He and his sister met my parents for lunch and evidently he kept saying, “I don’t know why people think I have a drug problem.” And I’m so glad I wasn’t there, I would have screamed at him, “Are you a fucking idiot? You’re 29 years old, able bodied, and choosing to live on the street — YOU DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH DRUGS.”

My own 39 year old daughter works seven days a week and takes three classes per term to better her life. Then you have this fucking asshole who just thinks hard work is for others, not him.

Oh my God, I’m sorry I’m so wound up.

I told every member of his family, including his mother, that I did not want any of this drama to end up at my parent’s doorstep, and the VERY FIRST DAY HE’S IN TOWN THEY CALL TO COME OVER AND HANG OUT ON MY PARENT’S COUCH? FUCK NO! My parents are the ones who said why not meet us at a restaurant instead. Now I feel I’m going to have to tell them point blank —  DON’T COME AROUND HERE!!!!!

The last time I came home, several months ago, while they were here, thank God my mom was not here, because the house smelled like a skunk exploded due to a backpack filled with marijuana. I had them put it outside. Then I was thinking, fuck, this is illegal, isn’t it? I can’t even keep track any longer. But I do have a job where background checks are performed and I do not want to be around a backpack full of pot.

FUCKING CLUELESS ASSHOLES.

Shit. Fuck. What should I do? I want to protect my parents. But if I tell my sister’s two loser kids they can’t bring their stoned asses around here, I might make my sister despise me. FUCK!

—- an hour later —

I got so upset, I was composing a message to my sister, then deleted it and went to talk to my parents. I feel a little calmer now. We are all in agreement. They were very embarrassed to be at a restaurant with the three smelly ragamuffins today and they don’t want them hanging around their house.

We have nothing in common with them or their lifestyle and we’ve agreed to wait until the next invitation of theirs to lay it out for them. Dad has offered to do the talking since they will know he still loves them. If my mom says it, they’ll hate her more than they already do.

My sister is having horrible health problems out in Louisiana and doesn’t need to be dragged into this, although I’m sure she’ll hear about it. I don’t understand how her kids, who grew up watching her work to support all five of them because their father was a moron and didn’t contribute one cent after the divorce, have no work ethic whatsoever.

I am seriously annoyed, however, that my sister and her relatively sober son in Portland assured me over and over that this druggie son would not bring drama to his grandparent’s doorstep and he did so within 24 hours of being in town.

Mom and dad said that as heads of the family they’d take care of it, so I am stepping out of the middle. I’ve got to find a way to chill out. I wish I had a hiking buddy. I really do.